The Forum: Journal of History


The historian E.P Thompson famously described English peasant bread riots in the 18th century as based off of a shared ideal of an economy that obeyed moral rules. But where did this idea originate? I argue that conflicts over land enclosure in the seventeenth century led to peasants viewing the old nobility as defending them according to even older moral principles, a view which carried over into the later economic conflicts about which Thompson writes.